Experts' personal metaphors and similes about language learning strategies

Oxford, R.L.; Griffiths, C.; Longhini, A.; Cohen, A.D.; Macaro, E. and Harris, Vee. 2014. Experts' personal metaphors and similes about language learning strategies. System, 43(1), pp. 11-29. ISSN 0346-251X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article examines many instances of figurative language - metaphors and similes - employed by six international experts to describe language learning strategies and their involvement with such strategies over many years. The first stage of analysis showed that the experts' metaphors and similes were associated with (a) construction, (b) visual arts, (c) food and drink, (d) liquid, (e) travel/movement, (f) cultivation, (g) music, (h) light, (i) sports, (j) business, (k) animals, and (l) temperature. The next stage of analysis condensed the themes into the following larger themes: (a) awakening to strategies for the first time, (b) receiving and giving powerful gifts along the journey, and (c) learner self-management. The overarching theme, which emerged in the third and final stage of analysis, was the urgent necessity of understanding learning strategies and using appropriate theories to explain them.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Metaphors; Similes; Strategies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


April 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2014 06:21

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:00

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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